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Alleged improprieties at Village Garage – Still under investigation?

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Photo credit:  Village of Ridgewood Tax Assessor’s Office
Alleged improprieties at Village Garage – Still under investigation?
January
Boyd A. Loving
11:38 PM

There’s been a lot of talk about the Village Garage as of late, but no talk about allegations made public during a meeting of the Village Council held back in October.

Check this out:

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A REGULAR WORK SESSION OF THE VILLAGE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGEOF RIDGEWOOD HELD IN THE SYDNEY V. STOLDT, JR., COURTROOM OF THE RIDGEWOOD VILLAGE HALL, 131 NORTH MAPLE AVENUE, RIDGEWOOD, NEW JERSEY, ON WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 2, 2013 AT 7:30 P.M.

COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC

Mayor Aronsohn asked if anyone from the public wished to speak regarding any of the agenda items.

Frank Thissen, 205 Chestnut Street, said he is the owner of Village Auto Body. Mr. Thissen stated that he was the successful bidder for the body work three years ago, and the towing bid was awarded to Bergen-Brookside. Mr. Thissen said it has come to his attention that Bergen-Brookside has been allowed to overcharge on its bids, for which he has documentation which he has submitted to the Police Department. The allegation is currently being investigated. None of the vehicles in question came to Mr. Thissen’s facility to be repaired, but were sent to a repair facility in Hackensack, instead of sending them to the business that won the contract. This has cost the Village a lot of money, according to Mr. Thissen. He pointed out that his stated labor rate in his bid was $33 per hour, and the Village has been paying anywhere from $42-$50, with repair estimates as high as $7,000-$8,000. As far as the towing is concerned, Mr. Thissen said that Bergen-Brookside bid $95 to tow a garbage truck, with a zero in the “Comment” area for mileage charges. However, there are bills for towing that include such figures as $300 for mileage, because the provider has been allowed to charge for mileage. It seems to Mr. Thissen that Mr. Loprieno of the Village Garage is subjecting Mr. Thissen’s invoices to much greater scrutiny than those of either the Hackensack facility or Bergen-Brookside. This year, Mr. Thissen noted that he was awarded all of the bids, but he has not been called to tow vehicles that should have been towed, such as when he saw a dump truck being pushed by a front end loader through the Village to the Village Garage. Mr. Thissen said that is a safety hazard, and it destroys equipment, as well.

Mr. Thissen mentioned that he is working with Lieutenant Amoruso on this investigation, and it has come to Mr. Thissen’s attention that many invoices include charges for parts that were not put on any vehicles. Furthermore, in many cases, charges for genuine parts were included, although aftermarket parts were actually installed. Mr. Thissen said he is trying to look at all the vehicles in question to see what kind of parts they have. Although the Police Department, including Chief Ward and Lieutenant Amoruso, are aware of the situation, Mr. Thissen said he wanted to bring it to the attention of the Councilmembers in the hope that something can be done to prevent such misbehavior in the future.

Mayor Aronsohn asked Ms. Mailander if she was aware of any of this, and she said that she was not, but she will look into it, and she will speak to Chief Ward and Lieutenant Amoruso. Councilman Pucciarelli asked Mr. Thissen to make all of his documentation available to the Councilmembers, which Mr. Thissen said he would do.

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The staff of the Ridgewood Blog wonders if the investigation into this matter has concluded, and if so, whether there is any truth to Mr. Thissen’s allegations.

4 thoughts on “Alleged improprieties at Village Garage – Still under investigation?

  1. That is a lot of legwork by a taxpayer. You would think that it was someone’s job at village hall to be reviewing the bills.

    If this were a private business they would have been monitoring costs. Not so for the village of ridgewood.

  2. Your not going to hear anything about it because the head of the garage is DEPUTY MAYOR ALBERT PUCCIARELL good friend.

  3. you mean aldo ,

  4. What a condescending hotel attorney.

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